I said it once, but I’ll definitely say it again…
Any of my clients who know me well can certainly testify that I am not a product pusher. Especially during the early days of breastfeeding, I truly believe all you need to get off to a successful start is a willing baby and a pair of breasts.
After all, that’s all mamas had for centuries before all of the “latest and greatest” breastfeeding products entered the market, right?
Now, with that being said, I still have many clients wondering if there are certain products that can make the breastfeeding transition a bit easier.
Plus, don’t you still need a few more things to add to your baby registry anyways ;)
Packing Your (Breastfeeding Friendly) Hospital Bag
I’m sure you already have a growing checklist of items you want to add to the hospital bag.
The cutest little outfit you’ve ever seen for baby to go home with.
But while you pack that bag, I suggest giving a little more thought about some of the goods that might help breastfeeding your new babe a bit easier and ensure greater nursing success.
Nipple cream. Nipple balm. Nipple butter. No matter what you call it or what brand you choose to use, these ointments all aim to serve the same purpose. To help soothe sore, irritated nipples.
But, don’t they provide nipple cream at the hospital?
Well, yes, at least in most hospitals I am familiar with. However, I do have to say I’m generally not a huge fan of what is provided.
Lanolin is typically the nipple cream of choice used by the majority of hospitals. Although lanolin is generally considered a safe “natural” product (unless you happen to be allergic to wool), there are concerns about toxic and pesticide residue still being present in lanolin due to the processing used to create the finished product.
Since safety concerns can be a potential issue, why not opt for a more natural option?
I always say that a little olive or coconut oil (you can do a spot test on baby if concerned about a possible allergy) and expressed breastmilk can go a long way. I mean, is there anything they can’t help? I know, they aren’t going to fix a broken leg, but I have seen amazing results when used for skin irritation.
Now if you are looking to purchase an easy to transport, natural option instead of packing up your kitchen oils, there are two brands I really like that can be found here: Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter and Motherlove Nipple Cream.
Hello! I think this is one one those items mamas don’t realize they need until after the baby arrives. Of course having a nursing bra is not 100% necessary, but it sure makes life so much easier. Especially during the early days of breastfeeding when it might feel like you’re nursing 24/7.
Many of the mamas I speak to are concerned that if they buy a nursing bra before baby is born it will no longer fit them once the milk “comes in.” This is a valid point, however if you get fitted by a specialist approximately a month before your due date you will have a pretty accurate idea of what size nursing bra you need.
My favorite nursing bra is the Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra by Bravado! Designs. The reason I love and recommend this bra is because it is so soft and comfortable and is available is sizes small to XXL. Since this bra is not cup/brand size specific it can better adjust to your ever growing and changing needs. Don't forget to grab two!
Sometimes there’s know better word to use than…soggy. I know, this doesn’t sound much like a positive push for breastfeeding, but I’m just telling it as it is. Especially with my first baby I found myself leaking ALL-THE-TIME! And for me, this started pretty much right away.
Now, maybe your local hospital will provide you with some disposable nursing pads if you’re leaking and maybe it won’t. But, even so, do you want feels like one more disposable pad in your bra nonetheless? For me it’s a big ole, “No thank you!”
So if you’re looking to stay away from the disposable pad trend AND be a bit more eco-friendly too, my recommendation is to get yourself a set of Bamboobies Washable Nursing Pads.
Super comfy. Super cute. Super why not?
Alright, so this next item might be a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to stick with it anyways.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of wearing an item that was probably worn by a sick person in the hospital and then washed in industrial strength detergent. Sorry, it’s just not my idea of a good time.
Enter the SAVI MOM Nursing Nightgown. Not only is it something you can wear from home during labor and birth, but the design makes nursing your little one super easy and accessible.
If you have a super savvy nursing and/or lactation staff at the hospital you are giving birth at consider yourself super lucky. They will come in, set up a “pillow table” for you and set you up in a position perfect for breastfeeding success.
Positioning and latch are absolute essentials when it comes to successful breastfeeding. However, when you’re sore and exhausted after giving birth and if you don’t have the right kind of support right when you need it, you might consider bringing a nursing pillow with you to the hospital in order to worry about one less step in the set-up. My personal recommendation is the My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow.
Again, you might be thinking this is a bit of a stretch. After all, isn’t this post supposed to be about nursing supplies. Trust me though when I say I’m going somewhere with this ;)
One recommendation I always have to give my clients is to limit your visitors.
I know, gasp!
Especially if it’s your first baby, everyone is going to line up to take a peek at your precious little bundle. However, if you want to breastfeed (which I’m guessing you do since you’re reading this post) and build an awesome milk supply, you’re going to want to nurse A LOT early on.
What does this have to do with visitors you ask?
Well, visitors can impact the amount of time mama typically puts baby to breast. A huge factor in this has to do with privacy concerns. So if you plan on having visitors I highly suggest you pack an additional baby blanket to help cover up with so you can stay skin-to-skin with baby even during the visits. My favorite are bamboo swaddle blankets like these since they are extremely light, airy and breathable.